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Press Release

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Governor Crist Celebrates Race to the Top Phase 2 Application

~ 65 school districts and 54 teachers unions sign application in effort to win up to $700 million ~

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today provided an opportunity for Florida’s students and teachers to garner more than $700 million in education funding with the submission of the state’s application for Phase 2 funding in the federal Race to the Top grant competition. In addition to the support of 65 of Florida’s 67 school districts, three of the state’s four lab schools and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, the state’s efforts to win funding to implement locally developed, comprehensive education reform plans have also been bolstered by commitments from 54 local teacher unions, signifying strong dedication by district leadership throughout the state to accelerate student learning and improve the quality of education in Florida public schools.

“I am proud of the efforts of all education stakeholders who helped to make our Phase 2 application package one that will truly reform our education system like never before,” said Governor Crist. “The work of our students, parents, teachers, administrators and legislators to be united in providing a quality education is evident in this application, and I feel strongly this will help us win the race.”

Through the federal Race to the Top competition, the U.S. Department of Education has challenged all 50 states to propose bold education reforms focused on helping struggling schools, elevating the effectiveness of teaching professionals and education leaders, building internationally recognized education standards and assessments, and improving state education data systems.

“Grounded in collaboration, Florida’s Phase 2 Race to the Top application successfully blends boldness with stakeholder input to create an outstanding submission worthy of Florida’s strong education reform history,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “I commend Governor Crist for his leadership and vision in creating this enhanced application, and I applaud the local leadership of our school districts for their tremendous support of this unprecedented opportunity.”

Applications must be turned in to the U.S. Department of Education by June 1, 2010. Fifty percent of a state’s total award will be distributed to participating school districts according to a federal funding formula and the remaining 50 percent will fund state-level projects benefiting all school districts statewide. Winners of the competition are expected to be announced in late August/early September of 2010.

For more information about the Race to the Top competition, visit http://www.fldoe.org/ARRA/RacetotheTop.asp.